Bible Verse

Beg as loud as you can for good common sense. Proverbs 2:3

Friday, August 30, 2013


Well, it’s been one of those days – actually, it’s been three of those days.

David and I had been camping in a national forest in Kentucky last week.  We didn’t particularly like the campground because of location and snakes and the location of snakes to my very own person.

The campground was 15 miles from civilization (Dollar General and Redbox in this case) at the end of a very windy, hilly road.  Going 30 miles for movies and miscellaneous items that you don’t know you need until you see them, well that was just a little too far.

And, of course, the snakes.  Silly me!  I was afraid of bears!  Snakes didn’t enter my mind.  Until the park ranger said the copperheads were real bad this year.  They were coming out at night to eat the cicadas as they emerged from the ground.

I was squirming around and making terrified noises while he was telling us all this.  But the kicker was when he said:  “Just shine a flashlight where you’re going to step and you’ll be fine.”

In what universe would I be fine?  Not in this one, I can guarantee you that.  If I saw a very long snake (and apparently all these copperheads were l-o-o-n-g), I would either have a stroke or break my neck trying to get away from the thing.

The park ranger said they come out at night, but what if there was one snake out of the whole bunch that was a confirmed non-conformist and decided to turn against all snakedom and come out during the day just to see what was going on?  Huh?  What would happen then?

It goes without saying that this sneaky snake would be drawn to our campsite by the anti-snake vibes I was creating in great quantities.  He would be irresistibly (or maybe irresssisstibly) drawn to our camp site and would see me sitting outside in my beloved camper recliner.  I would be nervously scanning the site for snakes.  Our eyes would meet and – well, see Paragraph 6 above for further information.

Fortunately, there were no snake sightings before we left two days earlier than planned.  The campsite was nice, but I must say that after a fellow camper told us that 87 copperheads had recently been found at a campsite just down the road, there was nothing in this world that would keep me there. 

Not even a Dollar General with a Redbox…

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Drinking and Driving Story

Years ago when I was a legal secretary, two men came into the office for an appointment.  Actually, only one of the men had an appointment.  The other guy was his ride.

My office was right at the front door and lobby so that I could be available for anyone who walked in.  The ride guy quickly got bored waiting for his friend, so he wandered over to my window and started a conversation with me.

Monologue would be closer to it.  He just talked and talked, not giving me much time to respond.  I was trying to be polite, but I had work to do and it was loudly calling my name.

This guy had been talking about 10 minutes straight when he told me about the time he got arrested for driving under the influence.  It wasn’t his fault, he claimed.  It seems that he had a peculiar kind of diabetes that would show his alcohol level much more than it actually was.  He explained that he had only had one, maybe two beers earlier that evening.

Oh, Lord!  I thought I had died and gone to hell and this was it – I would be listening to this guy rationalize his drinking for eternity!

But then he started complaining about his attorney’s fee, which had been $500.  He said that all his attorney had done was go up there in court and talk with the judge to get his fine reduced and any jail time removed.  It only took about two minutes.  Two minutes and the man had charged him $500!  Blah, blah, blah, on and on and on…

Until I interrupted him with “I know how you can fix that problem.”

“Yeah?” he said brightly.

“Don’t drink and drive,” I said.

His face fell.  “Oh,” he said, and shuffled away to quietly take a seat.

And having done all I could for a fellow human being, I went back to my work.

Friday, August 16, 2013

There's a New Preacher in Town..

Once upon a time, a long time ago, a brand new preacher gets his very first church in a small town in South Alabama. 

He’s there just a few days when a homeless man dies.  The city decides to bury him, and the mayor asks the new preacher to do the graveside service. 

Wanting to become part of the community, the preacher quickly agrees to do it.  They give him directions to a new cemetery outside of town. 

He goes out into the country and quickly figures out that he’s lost.  He drives around and around until he finally sees a nicely mowed place with 3 guys sitting next to a mound of dirt, eating their lunch.  So he pulls up, jumps out of his car, and runs over to the men.  He immediately sees that the grave has been dug and the vault is already in it.

“I’m so sorry I’m late, but I’m here now,” he says.  “If you’ll give me just a few minutes, we’ll do the right thing and get this done.”

The men just look at him, so the preacher proceeds to start the service.  As he warms up, he gets on a roll.  He preaches and preaches – all the way from Genesis through Revelation.  The men get into the spirit of the thing and shout “Amen!” and “Hallelujah, Brother!”  The preacher finally winds down, ends the service, thanks the men for their attention, gets in his car and leaves.

The men go back to eating their lunch in silence.  Finally, one of them says, “You know, I’ve been in this business for 30 years, and that’s the first time I’ve seen a service preached over a septic tank!”
Photo by Cindy West McGregor


Friday, August 9, 2013

Thank Heavens for Waffle House

A long time ago, in another century altogether, a young man (we’ll call him David) and a young woman (we’ll call her Carol) were married.  They were high school sweethearts and tied the knot just a few weeks after Carol graduated from Butler High School in Huntsville, AL.

We’ll cut to the chase and say that Carol did not know how to cook.  David, however, was very fond of eating stuff that had been cooked.

“No problem,” thought Carol.  “I’ve watched Mom cook my whole life, all 18 years of it, so I can cook for David.”

David’s favorite meal was breakfast.  He looked forward to sitting down to eggs, bacon, and toast every morning. 

Carol’s least favorite meal was breakfast.  She had no idea that David’s whole day could be ruined by a sub-par breaking of the fast.

Being a new bride and all, Carol was very eager to please her brand new husband.  So their first morning as mister and missus, Carol proudly served bacon, eggs, toast, milk and orange juice to David. 

She watched eagerly as he ate each bite, asking anxiously after nearly every one, “Is it okay?”  “What can I do to make it better?”

David knew she was trying hard and, being a brand new husband and all, thought she really wanted to know the answers to her questions.  He said, “Well, bacon is supposed to be crisp, not limp.  Toast is brown, not white.  Orange juice is supposed to be cold.  And eggs are firm and they don’t slide around on the plate.”

As unlikely as it seems, David survived that conversation.

He awoke the next morning to the smell of bacon frying in the pan and looked forward to a wonderfully correct meal.  Ha.  Ha.

What he saw was 2 pieces of bacon resembling a burnt offering, toast blackened to the point of being unrecognizable, and eggs that could have been bounced on the floor.  The orange juice looked as though it had come directly from the freezer, sort of an orange iceberg in a glass.

David could see that Carol had tried really hard.  As he attempted to eat what she had offered, she again began asking her questions, “Is it okay?” “How can I make it better?” 

David frantically tried to come up with the appropriate answer.  Here, again, David’s inexperience counted against him.

“Well,” he said, “It’s just not quite like Mama makes.”

As unlikely as it seems, David survived that conversation.

And, 43 years later, he is still waiting for Carol to again lovingly fix his breakfast.

As far as Carol is concerned, he can wait another 43, ‘cause it just ain’t gonna happen.



Friday, August 2, 2013


When I was around 12 years old, my father took my mother, sister and me on a 6-week-long trip out west.  My dad worked for the Army, and he had to be in El Paso, Texas for 3 weeks.  So he brought the fam, parked us at a motel, worked his 3 weeks, then drove us to California.  He had a cousin in Los Angeles who was married to a plumber.  The reason I remember the plumber part is because he told us about working in famous people’s houses.

I was so star struck!  I was addicted to the TV (yes, all 3 channels!), and I was dying to actually see a living, breathing star.  Oh, if I could just meet Little Joe Cartwright or Dr. Kildare!

We went to Disney Land and Knotts Berry Farm, but the best place of all was Universal Studios.  We saw the grassy hillside where they filmed outdoor cigarette commercials and the fake lagoon for McHale’s Navy.  We all rode on a little tram, craning our necks to see someone famous.

Near the end of the tour, as we walked around a little garden, we finally found our star.  It was none other than Aladdin!  No, not the Disney cartoon – remember, this is in the early ‘60’s. 

The Aladdin I am referring to was a staple on the Lawrence Welk Show.  He was kind of a mediocre singer, but what he could really do was recite.  You know, say something pretty about love or kittens or sunny days while the orchestra played behind him.  It always fascinated me when he would end at just the right time as the song wound down.  

Well, Mom just thought he was wonderful and was amazed to find him wandering around the garden, no doubt waiting for someone to recognize him.  We all said hello, told him we were big fans of his and the Lawrence Welk Show.  He was very gracious and kind, just like he appeared on TV.

Mom asked him if we could take a picture of him with Mom, my sister and I.  Oh, yes, of course we could!  So we got all lined up, smiled at Mom’s folding Kodak camera in my dad’s hands… and it wouldn’t work.  It Wouldn’t Work! 

You know that old saying “His face could break a camera?”  Well, it did.  The camera was fine until that moment. 

We were all embarrassed to have bothered such a fine performer with our cranky camera.  Aladdin took it well, but he quickly found other people to talk to who probably had better photography equipment than the Falconers from Alabama.

I found some YouTube stuff of Aladdin.  If you have never seen him, you will be amazed at what passed for entertainment in 1962!